Freeport property owners could see 60-cent increase

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FREEPORT — Property owners could see an increase of 60 cents per $1,000 of valuation in the municipal portion of their tax bill next year, according to a budget presentation at Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting.

Copies of the proposed municipal budget can be picked up at Town Hall.

In other council business, Nicholas Adams of Naples was hired as the town’s new codes enforcement officer.

Town Manager Peter Joseph and Finance Director Jessica Maloy reviewed the proposed municipal budget with the council, all of whom were present.

Freeport residents now pay $15.80 per $1,000 of property valuation:  68 cents county; $11.38 school; and $3.74 town. If the proposed $9.7 million town budget for FY18 is adopted by Town Council later this spring, property owners would see a tax rate of $16.40 per $1,000 property valuation. That breaks down to 72 cents for the county assessment, $11.90 for school and $3.78 for the municipality.

Two public sessions next week at town hall will give residents the chance to ask municipal administrators questions. The meetings are set for 5-6 p.m. May 10 and 7:30-8:30 a.m. May 11.

On May 16, the council will hold a workshop on the proposed municipal budget. A public hearing on the town budget is set for June 6. The target date for town budget adoption by the council is June 20.

May 24 is the date of the annual school budget meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Freeport High School. Voters in the three towns comprising Regional School Unit 5 – Freeport, Durham and Pownal – will vote in their respective towns on the proposed $32 million school budget. The budget validation referendum date is June 13. School budget warrant articles are scheduled to be posted on the school’s website May 11 at rsu5.org.

Adams, 32, was unanimously appointed the town’s new codes officer by a 7-0 vote Tuesday night for an indefinite term. His salary was not disclosed.

He is now the director of Planning and Community Development in Poland, where he’s worked since 2012. Adams is also the part-time codes enforcement officer for the town of Chebeague Island.

Freeport Town Manager Peter Joseph said 14 people applied for the job that Fred Reeder held for three decades. Reeder is retiring from the full-time post at the end of this week.

Joseph said the list of 14 applicants was whittled down to five semi-finalists, then two finalists.

The work week is Monday through Thursday, which would allow Adams to continue working part time one day a week for Chebeague Island. He now works on the island on Friday.

Nicholas Adams was hired as Freeport’s new Codes Enforcement Officer on May 2. Freeport Finance Director Jessica Malloy is in the foreground

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